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Sweet Spot Marketing
How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights

A Whitepaper by Demandbase, Inc.

Doug Rekenthaler Jr.
301 Howard Street Suite 1800 San Francisco, CA 94105

or sales lead generated. Ford. Sweet spot here we come. digital technology is enabling the practitioners of virtually any discipline to monitor. So Schwartz added a technology to the mix. it is delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. Today. if you sell business to business (B2B) not only are conventional Web analytics not going to pave a path to your Marketing Sweet Spot. OR SOUR? The sweet spot.and mid-sized businesses (SMB). he was happy to see strong traffic from many of the Enterprise accounts the company coveted: Chevron. Yet he also wanted to ensure that he was getting the most out of those visitors. all those Enterprise visitors had difficulty finding content relevant to them. the company’s director of Interactive Marketing. Because the WebEx website had been built on the assumption that its corporate base was comprised almost entirely of small. heavy volume of online traffic. GE to name a few. which told him not just how many people were visiting the company’s website but from which companies they were originating. Again. WebEx ultimately found its Marketing Sweet Spot by discovering what far too many B2Bs have not: that data volume alone is not enough. was pleased to see a consistent. INC. Turning to his Web analytics system. Then he dug a bit deeper to determine what those same Enterprise visitors were doing while on the WebEx site. and were leaving the site feeling like unwanted guests at a dinner party. they quite likely will lead you into numerous dead ends that cost your organization time and money and leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. many of today’s B2B marketing managers have mistakenly assumed that they can derive sufficient customer knowledge from those assets alone. In music. Knowing that an Enterprise account generated substantially more revenue for the company than did SMBs. Consider the case of Cisco WebEx. Yet on only four occasions did the visitor navigate beyond the home page and not once was any form of contact form engaged. 2 . for example. In marketing. Schwartz observed. measure and map the paths to these sweet spots. that GE visited the WebEx site more than 500 times. Joe Schwartz. That’s when things turned sour. which today provide marketers with great mountains of data concerning the number of individuals visiting the corporate website and their activities while they are there. in marketing. that technology increasingly takes the form of Web analytics platforms. © 2012 DEMANDBASE. one of the world’s leading providers of Web conferencing services. Schwartz conservatively calculated that if WebEx could achieve just half its SMB conversion rate with those Enterprise visitors. right? As it turns out. the company was looking at the potential for an additional $55 million in pipeline revenue ($110 million if its Enterprise conversion rate matched the SMB rate).Sweet Spot Marketing: How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights WHITEPAPER INTRODUCTION: DO YOU LIKE YOUR MARKETING SWEET. Perhaps blinded by the embarrassment of riches generated by existing Web analytics programs as well as the impressive targeting capabilities of today’s content management systems. in sport. it is optimal athletic performance. it is harmonic convergence. be it the auditory focal point of a concert hall or the magnificent arc of a homerun ball.

the surprising truth is how often B2Bs overlook this simple fact when it comes to implementing Web marketing programs. And while the reader may dismiss this as a case of overstating the obvious. NetApp – are succeeding. social networks. including analytics and Content Management Systems. visitors’ time on site. for example. In the B2B world the ability to properly identify and communicate with that jumbo jet means the difference between landing a large-revenue account or a single-engine SMB. conventional Web analytics applications tell an important and necessary story about an individual’s online activities – data B2Bs certainly can and do put to good use. qualifies. First impressions. B2Bs are no less interested than B2Cs in their website traffic. measures. mobile technologies and more. This is precisely where traditional Web analytics fall short. To be sure. to repeat. then it goes to figure we want to know as much as possible about their company. high-value sales • Company attributes (industry. a B2B is a business that sells to other businesses. but being able to properly message and allocate resources based on revenue potential goes a long way toward improving efficiencies and outcomes. branding. After all. INC. If today’s B2B is to locate its own Marketing Sweet Spot. This is precisely where traditional content targeting tools fall short. an air traffic controller unable to differentiate the radar blip of a single-seat personal aircraft from a 500seat jumbo jet. actions or navigation paths taken. individual-based sales • Low-volume.Sweet Spot Marketing: How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights WHITEPAPER But as WebEx discovered. Avery Dennison. But if we think of the typical B2B visitor as the representative of a business that we are likely interested in selling to. the ‘face’ of the modern organization. Picture. for wont of a better term. 3 . Both accounts are important. including: • Account vs. storytelling. such data – particularly for a B2B – can be limiting and cause you to miss out on significant revenue opportunities. engages. WEB ANALYTICS: THE (ALMOST) PERFECT OPTIMIZATION LOOP Despite the rapid proliferation of delivery channels. and closes its sales prospects – prospects that. Similarly. the corporate website remains. it first must learn why so many B2Bs are struggling while others – Cisco WebEx. most often begin their journey at the corporate website. size) are critical Each of these characteristics has profound implications on how a B2B attracts. and any © 2012 DEMANDBASE. And in the same way that existing Web analytics were built – and refined – to address the unique needs of the B2C marketplace. B2B VS. wouldn’t it be great if B2B analytical software took into account the myriad ways a B2B sales process is different. and so forth. we must be able to identify and target relevant content that speaks to the needs of that particular organization. B2C ANALYTICS: WHAT’S IN AN ACRONYM? As the acronym clearly states.

in attempting to extrapolate needed insights from these limited data types. complexities. refine and optimize the online experience of those same visitors or. conversely. including overall traffic. time onsite. because it provides them with demonstrable proof about the marketing tactics and strategies that do – and do not – work. lead to poorly informed marketing decisions – decisions that may not only backfire but altogether miss available revenue generating opportunities. Worse. impressions. The greater the breadth and depth of available data. This feedback loop is enormously important to organizations of all sizes. and missions. As a result. but information about his or her company’s: © 2012 DEMANDBASE. 4 . But there’s a catch. Such a system would deliver actionable insights not merely into what the typical visitor was doing on site. ultimately. Or as Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff points out. The secret sauce behind all of this is. “The only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge of and engagement with customers. more desirable customer demographic. existing tools paint an incomplete picture that. SWEET SPOT MARKETING: LAYING THE GROUNDWORK If the corporate website is the starting point to a sales prospect’s potential relationship with an organization and traditional Web analytics and Content Management Systems have helped B2Cs refine and improve their website performance. all too often leaves a B2B flying blind.Sweet Spot Marketing: How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights WHITEPAPER initial customer interactions or engagements almost always begin at a company’s digital doorstep. is a revolving door of key prospects coming – and going – without finding what they want. in turn. INC. click-thru rates. This data creates a kind of dynamic feedback loop that enables marketers to continuously test. conversions.” It is a remarkably important formula and. actions. the better able marketers are to optimize their efforts and. as WebEx’s Joe Schwartz discovered. and without you even knowing they were there. and inform them about the behavior and activities of their online visitors. then it goes to reason that a complementary suite of accounts-based analytics and targeting capabilities would similarly improve the online fortunes of B2Bs. it works extremely well. monitor. the B2B finds itself unable not simply to identify the visiting accounts. and much more. a B2B runs the very real risk of drawing erroneous conclusions that. For these reasons innovative marketing managers depend on a dizzying array of Web analytics to track. abandon points and rates. data. As a result. Conventional Web analytics programs were designed and built to capture data about individual website visitors. meaning that while they are ideal for businesses that cater to individual consumers (B2C). for many organizations. when it comes to understanding and speaking to its online visitors. rework the site to attract and engage a different. The result. improve sales. of course. they fall short when it comes to businesses that cater to other businesses (B2B). but to tailor content and messaging to the unique needs of those organizations.

enabling it to continuously test. and then deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. and more quickly turn interest in to revenue. For the first time website traffic is no longer the amorphous ‘blips’ on our metaphorical radar screen – they are richly detailed visitor profiles indicating. Adobe Site Catalyst. but NetApp only wanted to target SMBs and government organizations. The following are brief examples of just some of the ways B2B organizations have integrated Demandbase into their Web analytics and Content Management Systems to transform the online aspirations of B2Bs everywhere. SWEET SPOT MARKETING IN ACTION As its name suggests. NetApp: Speak their language. But like many B2Bs in similar situations. was insufficient in determining whether the content promoting the new product was reaching the intended audience. And as an added benefit. INC. Demandbase enables B2Bs to target the high-value accounts that matter most. among other things: • Named accounts that can be directly tied to a specific stage of an existing sales cycle • Non-performing industries tying up precious marketing resources • Unexpected evidence of potential new sales channels • Quantitative roof of a particular marketing tactic’s efficacy/failure The B2B now is in the position to develop (and continually refine) the kinds of demonstrable business intelligence upon which successful sales organizations are built. internal marketing organizations (and their Web properties) find themselves esteemed for their ability not simply to support but to proactively facilitate the sales cycle. NetApp was preparing to launch a powerful new product targeted squarely at SMB and government markets. A leader in innovative storage and data management solutions. Further. © 2012 DEMANDBASE.Sweet Spot Marketing: How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights WHITEPAPER • Industry type • Number of employees • Annual revenue • Location • Existing account status • Name This data is key to the creation of the B2B’s own analytics-powered feedback loop. its targeting platform – Adobe Test & Target – only allowed for blind A/B testing. NetApp knew that its existing analytics program. measure and optimize website content to the visitors that represent future revenue and to discover that all-important Marketing Sweet Spot. 5 . By helping these organizations develop their own Sweet Spot Marketing programs. Demandbase Real-Time Identification was architected to help B2B organizations optimize their marketing programs by identifying the online behavior of the corporate accounts visiting their websites.

“It needs to be about the quality of the visitors – traffic that is truly likely to convert to revenue. It’s not just about numbers. selling through both retail and commercial channels. The results were nothing short of amazing: a 30% lift in the “view demo” clicks. much like Lead Scoring. © 2012 DEMANDBASE. It also was discovered that government and higher education visitors presented a larger than expected opportunity amongst its normal web traffic.” said Cynthia Donlevy. NetApp not only was able to serve highly targeted messaging to those target audiences.Sweet Spot Marketing: How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights WHITEPAPER Using Demandbase integrated with Site Catalyst and Test & Target. As a result. Instead. Plugging Demandbase into Site Catalyst. “Paid search is not about volume of traffic. but also account-based engagement rates. which drove several conversations around sales strategy.” said Rushing. the company was able to collect and score not only the usual impression and click-thru rates. NetApp created a “Quality of Visitor Scoring” index which. to really speak their language to them. You can only achieve this with Sweet Spot Marketing. The company turned to Demandbase Real-Time Identification which. NetApp also worked with the Demandbase optimization and analytics team to gauge the overall effectiveness of the company’s paid search program. and a whopping 83% lift in overall visits to the product pages. in conjunction with Adobe Site Catalyst. 6 . Avery also was hoping to conclusively demonstrate the efficacy of Web analytics and targeted content to the company’s sales staff. a 39% lift in PDF requests. right time equals better results.” Avery Dennison: Overcoming Institutional Obstacles Colloquially known as the “label company. right visitor. The ability to directly influence the choices of commercial end-users was of critical importance to the company’s brand managers. Avery was excited to learn that there was indeed strong representation by many of the key accounts in which the company was interested. “Being able to speak in the vernacular of the government organizations. was just as effective as translating our website into native languages. it also was able to measure the “view demo” clicks. NetApp had been unable to determine whether its paid search investments were actually delivering the right traffic to its custom landing pages. symbiotic relationships with the targeted commercial channel end-users.” noted Carrie Rushing. All because the company was able to target its messaging to the right accounts. Director of NetApp’s analytics and optimization efforts.” Avery Office Products is one of the nation’s most prominent office supplies companies. “but it’s harder in practice: relevant message. Historically. PDF click-thrus and visits to the product pages. since any weakening of these end-users’ loyalty to the Avery brand would adversely affect sales. The key then was for Avery both to connect with these consumers while they visited Avery. immediately raised eyebrows by debunking one of Avery’s longest-standing assumptions: that Fortune 500 accounts were underrepresented in its online traffic. On a larger note.” The Sweet Spot Marketing lesson: “It sounds obvious in theory. most of who had historically depended on largely non-technical sales methodologies for their and to build high-value. ranked its landing page visitors based on a variety of account attributes monitored and measured by Demandbase. NetApp’s SeniorAnalytics Program Manager. INC.

” said David Maxson. Test & Target with Demandbase enabled us to test our internal hypotheses and capitalize on opportunities. Or as Bernoff notes. by utilizing Adobe Test & Target with Demandbase. has radically altered the marketing landscape and today forward-looking marketing executives are embracing behind-the-scenes analytics packages to. including: • Which opportunities could be classified as “key accounts” • What constitutes “normal” product usage for a particular industry • What is the critical mass of users in an account These thresholds. enabled Avery to clearly identify 30 key accounts that would make the most economic sense to the organization to target as a test of the new system.” Not surprisingly. “In this age. industry expertise. and assist sales. however. add “credibility and validity to go alongside their hunches and expertise. in turn. companies that thrive … are those that tilt their budgets toward customer knowledge and relationships. And perhaps most important. and artistic talent to build the corporate brand. Avery’s director of Interactive Marketing. This data empowers B2B organizations to allocate their marketing resources to where they will generate the highest levels of engagement and reward – their marketing sweet spot. The rapid evolution and interconnectivity of digital technologies. in the words of Forrester analyst Dave Frankland. INC. 7 . is only half the analytical battle. Avery was better able to understand and speak directly to its end-user market and secure brand loyalty amongst key consumers. After mistakenly assuming they could glean worthwhile business intelligence from conventional Web analytics programs. today’s forward-looking B2Bs are implementing the kinds of account-based analytics platforms capable of delivering the quality of customer data they need to succeed.” But data volume.” © 2012 DEMANDBASE.Sweet Spot Marketing: How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights WHITEPAPER Using a variety of accounts-based metrics. Bernoff’s number one recommendation for today’s corporate marketing dollars? “Real-time customer intelligence. The Sweet Spot Marketing lesson: By implementing a robust accounts-based suite of Web analytics that enabled it to deliver personalized content. the company was able to implement an “Avery Brand Loyalty” program. guide the customer experience. as many B2Bs have learned. CONCLUSION: FINDING YOUR OWN MARKETING SWEET SPOT Not so very long ago marketing still was considered the bastion of right-brained creative types who used a mysterious admixture of market intuition. “Site Catalyst with Demandbase enabled us to formulate our Null Hypothesis. Avery also was able to determine a number of internal definitions and operating benchmarks.

and has delivered strategic consulting services to a mix of for-profit. He has served in executive sales and marketing roles for Web technology companies.m. has more than 20 years’ experience authoring new articles. please visit us on the Web at www.demandbase.. and what could do for your organization visit Demandbase at the Adobe Summit conference March 20th –23rd and request a Sweet Spot Conversion Report at Demandbase booth 105. If you are not able to attend the Adobe Summit conference. Director of Analytics and Optimization at NetApp. © 2012 DEMANDBASE. with Avery Dennison. March 21. will also be presenting a more in depth look at the Avery case study in their session. INC. titled “Not all web visitors are created equally – Learn how to target your sweet spot” at 2 p. Demandbase. white papers. 8 . non-profit and government-based organizations.Sweet Spot Marketing: How Account-Based Web Analytics are Powering B2B Marketing to New Heights WHITEPAPER To Learn more about Demandbase and its Real-Time targeting and personalization platform. About the Author Doug Rekenthaler to request a Sweet Spot Conversion Report. Carrie Rushing. and case studies on a wide variety of advanced technologies. will be talking about Netapp’s tactics in converting visits to leads at Summit on Wednesday the 21st at 11:45 AM. PT on Wed.